Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2019 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)



This week's Hidden Gem (#39 as we count down to #1) is a short animation film released in 1955. If you've seen this one, please share your thoughts. If not, please let us know if this sounds like a film you'd like to see:


http://thecinemacafe.com/the-cinema-treasure-hunter/2013/8/10/hidden-gems-4#One-Froggy-Evening

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2019 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

I wouldn't call this hidden, as it played on TV alot when I was growing up, and is shown at festivals, museums, etc. The message is clear to children and adults alike (it has to be since there's no dialog), and one appreciates the artwork and music thru repeated viewings. Possibly what makes it unique is that it gets both funnier and darker as one gets older. What seems like a simple, absurd one-joke story of greed and ambition being thwarted, speaks (or sings) to the viewer about their own failed desires. It's a core truth about life that makes it more identifiable as time passes. It obviously helps that except for the premise, the world depicted is real rather than some silly cartoon background, so the story is more akin to "Nightmare Alley."
It's one of many Warner's Grim Fairy Tales which probably imparts a twisted sense of humor in every generation. wink

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

Thanks, Arthur!
It’s an old favorite of mine, I grew up watching it and it never fails to make me laugh.
It’s a great example of how cartoons can work on multiple levels – quite common among cartoons of its day, especially those that were shown in theaters, just before the movie that was the main attraction.
As kids, we would imitate the frog’s expression, croak and singing and would often look for an excuse to use some of his antics to get a laugh, especially if it could be done at the expense of our folks or other adults. Personally, I would have jumped at the chance to have had an adult overhear me singing and rightly impressed say, “Jack that was great! Here, sing that again for (whomever)!”, at which point I would simple stare frog-eyed and say “Broaaaaccckkk.” Sadly, that opportunity never materialized – likely because no one wanted to hear me sing. wink
Anyway, this cartoon can be appreciated for the subtexts in it. After all, who is exploiting whom? Michigan J. (Bull)Frog, by causing the demise of his “owner” winds up being put away into a new cornerstone, instead of capitalizing on an opportunity for wealth and fame none of his fellow amphibians could ever have hoped to attain. Could he have been testing his finders? One hundred years later, if the building disintegrator guy was to take the frog home and simply enjoy his talents, or even display him for honorable purposes would MJB then been content to live out the rest of his days with him?
As far as those cartoons went, many of them did seem to attempt to offer educational content, exposing kids to classical music, etc.

P.S. A funny ending might have been showing the destitute finder nibbling on fried frog's legs. (Hat tip to Mad Magazine, of course!)

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2019 - 12:17 AM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)

I wouldn't call this hidden, as it played on TV alot when I was growing up, and is shown at festivals, museums, etc. The message is clear to children and adults alike (it has to be since there's no dialog), and one appreciates the artwork and music thru repeated viewings. Possibly what makes it unique is that it gets both funnier and darker as one gets older. What seems like a simple, absurd one-joke story of greed and ambition being thwarted, speaks (or sings) to the viewer about their own failed desires. It's a core truth about life that makes it more identifiable as time passes. It obviously helps that except for the premise, the world depicted is real rather than some silly cartoon background, so the story is more akin to "Nightmare Alley."
It's one of many Warner's Grim Fairy Tales which probably imparts a twisted sense of humor in every generation. wink


Thanks so much for your insightful comments! I had several reasons for listing this as a Hidden Gem: I wanted to give this 1955 film more exposure to younger cinephiles and have it more widely considered by everyone else in the context of a classic motion picture rather than just an old cartoon.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2019 - 12:45 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Thanks so much for your insightful comments! I had several reasons for listing this as a Hidden Gem: I wanted to give this 1955 film more exposure to younger cinephiles and have it more widely considered by everyone else in the context of a classic motion picture rather than just an old cartoon.


The old WB shorts are timeless.
Like onions, they have layer upon layer.
There are many reasons that they have lasting appeal, but I would think that the one aspect that stands head and shoulders above the rest is that the content never talked down to kids.
Light-years ahead of Disney in almost every way.

With one exception, there is no one in my circle that has the same appreciation for them as I do.
He and I automatically assume that anyone who claims to be a cinephile and has never heard of at least a few of the classics, is a poseur.
big grin

 
 Posted:   Aug 20, 2019 - 5:11 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

After all, who is exploiting whom? Michigan J. (Bull)Frog, by causing the demise of his “owner” winds up being put away into a new cornerstone, instead of capitalizing on an opportunity for wealth and fame none of his fellow amphibians could ever have hoped to attain. Could he have been testing his finders?

There is an element of "The Monkey's Paw" (or magic genie) who grants wishes in a way that leaves the wisher worse off. The man's attempts to showcase the frog are sabotaged by an uncanny amount of bad luck (possibly from the frog), and the few times he succeeds, the frog fails to perform. As you joked, he would have been better off eating the frog, but humans are stubborn when they think they have a cash cow.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2019 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.